The dismantling of Miami Beach's historic Deauville Beach Resort, which once played host to everyone from the Beatles to President John F. Kennedy, is underway following a years-long effort by historic preservationists to save the building.
Aerial footage showed construction crews using a crane to dismantle sections of the hotel on Collins Avenue Monday, using dump trucks to haul away the rubble.
The historic building has been closed since 2017 after suffering damage from an electrical fire and Hurricane Irma. It fell into such bad shape that an engineering report found it "unsafe" and beyond repair, saying it "cannot be saved due to structural defects."
After the structural report from an engineering company hired by the property owners was reviewed, Miami Beach's building department declared a demolition order.
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Many in the community had been working to save the building, and members of Miami Beach’s Historic Preservation Board criticized the city for not doing more to enforce renovations at the historic property.
The city had taken action over the years, including suing the property owners to maintain the building, which was originally constructed in 1957.
"Our city has been in white-knuckle litigation with the owners of the Deauville for years, trying to stop what they’ve been doing, which is neglecting the property to the point where a building official says it needs to be demolished," Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in January. "It’s not an outcome any of us wanted."
In the 1960s, the Deauville was the place to be. The "Ed Sullivan Show" telecast a Beatles appearance live from the hotel's ballroom in 1964, and President John F. Kennedy gave a speech to young Democrats there in 1961. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Judy Garland and Tony Bennett also performed at the resort.